When Should You Hire an Actor?

So, you have an independent film, media project, or commercial that needs an actor or voice-over artist. Still, you are not sure where to start. It can be challenging to tell when you need to source that talent, and when you can get by asking a friend or co-worker for help. In many cases, you are better served using a trained actor that can give you precisely what you need. But how do you know when you should hire an actor?

You Need Your Finished Product to Be Polished and Professional

Sometimes an amateur performer will not do when your project must be the best that it can be. When you have found yourself needing to create an award-winning short film or a corporate client-facing video presentation, it may be best to hire an actor. Whether your company has a large social media following or you are willing to pay for the best, hiring talent is a great way to ensure your project’s success.

A trained actor will be comfortable on camera or behind a microphone, and you will not have to stress about the quality of their performance the way you might if you use a friend in a pinch. It would be best if you had actors that are acting and drama school trained professionals who are confident and knowledgeable about the business and their craft. They know what they are doing, and that can save you time and energy in the long run.

Your Script is Ready to be Distributed

If you have a script that is ready to go, it’s time to find the right talent to bring it to life. When searching for actors, they will need to know that your idea is fully fleshed out to ensure it’s the right gig for them. When an actor has a story or character to connect to, it makes them all the more excited to work on your project. It also helps you know what to look for during the audition process.

If you do not have your script finished, whether it’s for an indie film, commercial, or corporate project, you are not ready to hire an actor. Even if you have a good idea of what you want, having the script and clear synopsis of it will show prospective actors that you are ready to get to work. The script is also essential to determining your overall budget, how many actors you will need, and where the project will need to be filmed.

You Have the Budget to Hire an Actor

Hourly rates for actors and actresses can vary based on union and nonunion status, as well as the kind of role they will be performing. If you are lucky enough to have the extra cash on hand and you are ready to film, it is an excellent time to hire an actor. When creating the budget for your project, you want to place as much as you can towards your actors. They are the backbone of your production, and you want to ensure you make working for you worth their while.

If your budget to hire an actor is nearly nonexistent, do not worry. There are still ways to find incredible talent willing to work with you for travel and lodging expenses, a trade of services, or even just a copy of the finished project for their reel (an actor’s resume). Plus, you can always agree to offer deferred payment to talent for when you do have the funds available.

You Know Exactly What You Want

If you have the money, often the easiest way to hire an actor is to go through an agency. You will find the best talent agencies in almost every major city in the United States, and they usually have a robust and diverse roster of talent ready to take on your project. There are even online services such as this website where you can hire actors from Missouri, or whichever state you reside in. You can search by city, type of actor, and subcategory. You may have the perfect person in your mind and be able to find someone who is just the right fit. There is a lot of talent to choose from!


In the end, it is all about planning. When should you hire an actor? You should hire an actor when you know your ultimate goal is to create something professional, your script is complete and ready for production, when you have the money to get what you want, and when you know precisely what it is you want to create. What do you want your independent film, commercial, or corporate video to say about you or your brand? You can rest assured that with professional talent, it will say something significant.